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How to run events that build relationships and grow your business

Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Lorna Reeves, where we are talking all about event planning in business.

We cover everything from in person events, online webinars and big summits.

Join us as we share they key things you need to do to get more people to sign up and show up, and how to make sure everything runs smoothly.

And if you don't think running events is for you, this episode will explain why you might want to give them a shot!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  1. Why events are a powerful tool that all businesses should consider utilising
  2. What you need to think about when running a hybrid event that caters to an online and in person audience
  3. The benefits of events versus webinars for building relationships and delivering content

 

Lorna Reeves is an award-winning business owner & entrepreneur. MyOhMy Events is dedicated to supporting business owners and companies to create immersive, interactive evens that really pack a punch. Lorna is a force for change, driving representation and a voice for the change in the industry. As a best-selling co-author, public speaker and leader, Lorna’s solution focussed, no-nonsense style ensure her client’s events elevate their brand.

If you enjoyed this episode then please feel free to go and share it on your social media or head over to iTunes and give me a review, I would be so very grateful.

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Connect with Lorna on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook

Check out Lorna's free ‘Fail Safe Event Planning' course

Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook

 

Transcript

Teresa: When I say the word event planning, what do you think of? I'm guessing you're thinking of big in person fancy events with fancy food or big massive online events with loads of speakers. What if I told you a webinar could be considered an event? And then what if I told you That there are a few key things that you need to do to make sure that you get maximum signup and attendees and so that your event runs smoothly.

This is what we are talking about in today's episode with the amazing Lorna. And if you think events aren't for you, then this episode will share with you why you should even consider them.

Welcome to this week's episode of the Your Dream Business Podcast. How are you doing? This week, I am interviewing the very awesome Lorna Reeves from My Oh My Events. So you will know that I held a summit back in March and I had Lorna from My Oh My Events help me run that summit, which I'm gonna do a podcast next week where I talk you through what went well, what didn't go so well, and what we are going to change about the next event that we do.

But Lorna was the one that helped me manage the entire event, not only before, but also on the day and slotted in almost to my team, which was amazing. Now this episode, we are going to be looking at events and why you should do them and what we class as an event, because the world of online kind of changed everything because suddenly a webinar can become an event.

So I am really pleased that we have her on today, not only because It's good to talk about these things and events. Like I said, you know, they're varying different things, but also I'm really happy to present it to you guys because she was so good and so pivotal in running my online summit. Now, Laura is an award winning business owner and entrepreneur.

My Oh My Events is dedicated to supporting business owners and companies to create immersive interactive events that really pack a punch. Lorna is the force for change in driving representation and the voice of the change for the industry. Now, I don't always read the full on bio, but I'm going to because we didn't talk about this on the podcast and I want to make sure that I put it in.

Lorna was a member of the Met Police, spending over 15 years in forensics. Boom, mind blown. It is everything you imagine, evidence, fingerprints, firearms, and serious investigations. Lorna finished her career as a senior leadership team, managing a team of 160 people, managing the forensic work of 3000 cases annually, contracts, procurement, HR, staff development, communication, and negotiation.

She took these skills and used them in her business. And if you know anything about events, It is the orchestration of managing many, many, many moving parts and being very organized. So I can entirely see why 15 years in forensics helped with her career in events planning. So even if you're not considering doing an event, I think you're still going to get so much from this episode.

Here is the awesome Lorna. Welcome to the podcast, Lorna. Lorna, how are you doing?

Lorna: I am all right, thank you. I'm all right. Good to be here and still buzzing after your awesome summit.

Teresa: Well, thank you. I am still buzzing after my awesome summit. It was brilliant. It was so, so good. And obviously I couldn't have done it without you, which one of the things that, and I didn't mean to jump straight into this, but we will.

But one of the things that Lorna and I talked about is that, and we probably will talk about it in this episode, is that she wasn't who I was looking for, but boy, was I glad I found her. Like, well, she found me really, but I'm just super glad it worked out the way it does. So. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Let's start as we do by you explaining what you do and how you got to do the thing that you do.

Lorna: Well, that's a humongous question. Right at my events is a company and we focus on corporate events and we essentially we 10x corporate events. The events of companies, charities, business owners, we specialize in face to face hybrid online, and we're more about experience, user experience being the top priority.

Lots of people think that events just happen. And quite often good events do happen more by luck than judgment, but great events. there's a science behind them, there's a psychology behind them, there's a method to the madness and the chaos. And we were primarily before COVID and there should be an age for that, like BC should be like.

Teresa: Yeah, absolutely.

Lorna: Before COVID.

Teresa: Yeah, a hundred percent.

Lorna: So 2020 BC, we were at a face to face events company and we'd specialize in cool things like light psychology and color psychology and bringing in sense to embed memory and all those kind of weird and wonderful things that really influence people's behavior and help you construct the best event.

It's not just People sitting in a conference room, watching four hours of content and then leaving again and forgetting it all in six weeks time. It was really about cementing people's knowledge and therefore enhancing a brand or enhancing your particular program or your offering and making people walk away and think that was the best event I've ever been to.

But I can't put my finger on why it just is. And then obviously life after COVID, we ran our first online conference on the 23rd of March, 2020. So the first day that the UK was locked down. And that was mostly born out of panic and necessity. That was a lot of our clients going, how in the hell are we going to run our business now if people can't meet?

Yeah. So we switched. We, I spent. Probably a week awake and learned everything there was to learn about zoom, about hopping, about teams didn't really exist back in 2020. Every platform I could find WebEx was a huge one at the time. Lots of conferences, WebEx. How can we take what we'd been using for a face to face session and make it.

One to many, like one to hundreds and how do we bring in some of the theory from the face to face space into the online world and then it just grew from there really, we just gave away loads of stuff. I spent the first six months just doing tutorials and LinkedIn lives and just saying, I've learned this overnight.

Zoom has released an update. This is how you use it. This is how you might want to keep your business alive for the next year. And we kind of grew from there. And still work on sharing our expertise, sharing everything I've learned, sharing any updates, any new developments, any, how can we make people's experience in the online space or the face to face space next level?

How do you go from boring webinar to epic event?

Teresa: And I think In my experience, so we, we had the in person event thing, which was big, it's in my world anyway, and I came from corporate, and in corporates one of the things I did was some, a bit of events. So we did the in person thing. That was brilliant.

Then we, COVID hit, then everyone went online and it was awesome and everyone did the stuff and everyone was learning really quickly. And, you know, and as someone who'd been online for a long time, it was like, brilliant. Welcome to my world, everyone. But then, We got in this really awkward place and I still don't think we're out of it and I think it'd be good to get your thought on this of some people don't want in person and lots of people are sick of online.

So what the hell do you people want? Because those are your options. So just are you feeling that too?

Lorna: Absolutely. And that we are in this really weird half and half space. And we know because people's employment behavior has changed. We know because people are talking with their feet. If you are not offering flexible or agile working, people don't want to work for your company.

If you're not offering other ways to work, some people don't want to go back to the office and five days a week. And that is transferring into the wilder events as well. And the data in 23. I said that a third of all attendees still want to attend online. So if you are running and solely face to face event and you're charging a hundred quid for a ticket. Yeah, third of all people third of all your potential ticket sales would rather be in the online space. So you potentially are leaving money on the table by not having an online offering. And I think there's multiple facets that have come into that.

There's the, there's Gen Zed, who some of them have never been to a classroom to do their university degrees. Some of them don't have that. And right, they haven't even owned a textbook. They've never owned an actual textbook. So they actually are quite happy to learn in the online space. It works for their psychology.

We're much more open and aware to things like neurodiversities and people's style of learning. And some people learn better in the online space. Some people really get overwhelmed in the face to face interaction space and they just can't deal with it. They especially can't learn while in that space.

And then there's this whole other aspect that some businesses and big corporates stopped spending millions of pounds every year on their travel budget.

Teresa: People suddenly went, Oh my God. We can do this online for like a fraction of the cost.

Lorna: And all of that just falls to our bottom line. So our profits have increased by 20 percent just by cutting a travel budget.

And then there's the commitment to sustainability. Do we want to be flying people across the world to go to an event that they could go to from the office or from home?

Teresa: That's the answer. Yes. But this is the thing, and then someone like me, well, I say someone like me, it's a tricky one, but if there's travel involved, i. e. somewhere, you want to fly me to Dubai to do a session? Yes, thank you. You want to fly me to the States? 100%. Like, Totally. There's the having people in front of you thing, which is a great for a speaker. The feedback's brilliant as in immediate feedback. So you can see what's working and what's not working.

There's nothing that beats meeting people in real life. I don't think. However, On the other side of it, for some events, like when Atomicon went back in person, and I spoke at that event, three days I'm out of the house for, the same when I went to Edinburgh, three days I'm out of the house for, because you've got to go up the day before, you're there all day, you've got to be there the day after, like, suddenly then, from a business owner and a productivity point of view, I'm like, well, I could either do 45 minutes online, or three whole days out of my home.

And like I said, I, I personally quite like that. Like, you know, most of the time I am more than happy to have a trip somewhere because I do work from home all the time, but it's, we were given options. And now I think, Do you ever see it not having to be both?

Lorna: I can't see it. Now that we've kind of gone through this fourth industrial revolution, where people and technology have caught up with this timeless, spaceless ethos, I can see there always being a provision.

We can get some of the biggest names in the world to come and speak at our events. But it only takes them 45 minutes out of the day. It doesn't take them three days out of the day.

Teresa: Exactly. And, and that's the other thing that's interesting. Like, you know, the summit for a great example, if I had asked Michael and Amy to fly into the UK and give me an hour of their time, I know what the answer would have been.

It probably would have been no. Or it would have been, yeah, this is how much it's going to cost you. And it would have cost me tens of thousands without doubt. And understandably, you know, you're flying them in or having away from home. Like, you know, I get it. So therefore the online thing worked perfectly, but then But then there is all the advantages to an in person event.

Lorna: 100%, which is I think where the interesting place of a hybrid event comes in. And I'm a strong believer that a hybrid event shouldn't be flat. It shouldn't be a recording that people dial into and they watch it and they walk away. It has to be interactive. It has to be Produced in such a way that there's a change in camera angle every now and again.

There's a change in slide deck every now and again. Like when you're an experienced presenter, you are taught to keep the background moving, not to rely too heavily on your slides, use them as an aid, maybe move around the stage, do some interaction with the audience. It needs to be exactly the same for the hybrid people.

So they get that changing screen should happen every 45 seconds. Cause that's how short people's attention span.

Teresa: It's crazy. Isn't it?

Lorna: We need to be finding a way that the online people can ask a question, can interact with the room, because the same principles apply that when you involve your senses, when you involve your hands, when you involve both sides of your brain, you're going to retain stuff for longer.

And that goes for in person and the people online. So it really has to be a curated way of building content and sometimes a bit of a speaker education to say, we really want you and we're having this hybrid. This is how your content needs to be structured. Yeah. Don't be afraid to speak to the camera and address the online people.

They love it. It's like calling into your favorite radio station and getting a shout out. It works the same way. When you go, Hey, online people, really great to have you here. Don't forget to drop your questions in. I'd love to answer them. Suddenly everybody goes, Oh, talking to me. That person's talking to me.

I want to get involved.

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. I love it.

Lorna: So it's, it's, it's all about experience and building the interactivity. Interactivity and immersion is what will get you higher ratings in your feedback, will get you a longer memory half life, so people are more likely to remember your content in 12 weeks time rather than six weeks time, and therefore gives you a longer window to build know, like, and trust or to onboard somebody onto your program or to continue to build that relationship.

You will be in their brain for a lot longer.

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. So let's go back a bit in the sense of. If someone's listening to this and going, Oh, I don't think I'm ever going to run an event. Probably not something that I'm thinking about doing. Whether it's in person, online, both, whatever. Why are events so good?

Lorna: You can build an event to do whatever you want it to do. And I always say that's the starting point for all events. It's not about the venue, it's not about the tech. What do you want it to do? Is it a marketing event, and it's a product for prospect. Is it an educational piece? Something that you feel really passionate about that you want to impart?

Or is it you're called part of your core product and you want to sell your knowledge for want of a better word. You know, you want to spend a day with people and make their life better. You can build an event to do any one of those things. And it's the fastest way of doing one to many. You don't have to spend hours building an online course.

Online courses are awesome, but this can be an introduction to that. You can make it do so many things, but also it means that somebody gets to spend four hours, six hours, eight hours with you. Imagine how much of your content they would have to consume to get that kind of relationship, to get a potential of asking you personally a question, to actually learn from a person that they've been following in a book for a long time, or they've been following someone on Instagram for an age.

They actually get up close and personal and in the same room. There's a bond building and a relationship building that's second to none when you, when you run an event of some description.

Teresa: What's the difference then between doing a webinar and an event? Like when, where, what's that sliding scale? And when do you go, Oh, this is an event and this is why I should be focusing this way, or is it a webinar or an online training is an event and you need to imagine it like that from the very beginning?

Lorna: I think in some facets, they're very similar. Your user experience comes in all the way through whatever it is that you're, that you're selling your relationship with that person starts the minute they click the button that says, I'm interested in this. So the minute they say, yes, please sign me up, whether it's for a whole day event or whether it's for a pre recorded webinar.

Their interaction with you starts then. So that's the focus on experience and making it easy and smoothing away has to start immediately there. I think webinars are great for that cold space for building who, who is this person, who is this person and why should I listen to them. When you've got some people that are a little bit aware of you, a little bit aware of your brand.

And potentially you want to start either sending them something or bringing them closer into your circle. Is when we start looking at the event space, it'd be almost like shifting from going out for coffee with someone to going out to dinner with someone or going out to dinner with someone and then going away for the weekend with someone.

Yeah, you're, you're slowly building that interaction. You're slowly getting to know them. You're slowly almost giving a little bit more of yourself. If I do a webinar, you have no idea who I am. You have no idea what I look like. If I come to one of your events and I ask a question. There's more of a chance that you'll remember something about me.

So we're starting to get to know each other. So I think it's be very mindful as what type of relationship do you want to build? And why do you want to build that relationship? Are you running pre recorded webinar because you're looking to build your list? Because you're looking to, it's an entry point onto your system, or You're just really passionate about something and you want to give away free content to people.

It's a bit of brand recognition. As soon as we start creating those bonds with people, we can start to move people through our product sequence, our core offering. We start to build a better connection. That's when you start to get your, your real followers, your, your people that will sing your praises from the rooftops that will spread your message much further than you can do with a thousand pounds and a Facebook ad.

Teresa: Yes. Yeah. And I think, I think there's a place for everything and, and within. you know, a business, there is a place for events as such, you know, whether that be a swanky, amazing event in a beautiful location with the best food, or whether that's an online 40 minute an hour workshop, whatever, you know, we should be looking at them.

And I think what you said, which was key was the user experience. Like what is the purpose of us having this event. And I don't know, because I've ran in this life of business, of my online business, I've run a number of in person events, which weren't hybrid until the last one, and you'd have absolutely howled if you could see it.

So basically, I never, it was never going to be an online thing, right? That was the whole point. Come and see me in person. And my events were very much, I mean, I joke about my ego because they're only me. There was no speakers. It was like me and we do work together. So it was a very practical space for them to work on their business with me guiding them.

And the last one I did at the end of last year, one of the people who I love who comes to all of them or as many as she can bought a ticket and then couldn't come. And she messaged me going, is there any chance you can do an online version or follow along? Like, even if I can't get involved, like, is there any way that you can do this?

And I was like, you know, I don't know, because I like to do things well, as you know, like, if I'm going to do something, we're going to make it perfect as well as perfect as close as you can get it. So anyway I thought well these I'm only going to offer it to my people so they're the most forgiving people and what I did was I gave them a zoom link I took another camera with me did I take another camera or do it through my phone one or the other. Basically, Points had that streamed on the room, and Points had it streamed on me, so I moved it around manually in the day.

It definitely wasn't any more tech than that. They were on screen, so my project, my laptop was projecting to the projector anyway. The screen was shared so they were seeing the slides and we, the audience in the room, were seeing the people on screen's faces on the thing. And then I bought these tiny little mics, you know the ones that you see all these people on Instagram holding when they say, it's very odd, I don't get it, maybe I'm old, but I bought two of them and then I had one on me and then when, because the whole point of the event is that there's lots of feedback, as in, okay, you tell me how you got on with that, how did you get on with that, like, and So then they, people held the tiny mics as they went round and then I would say, okay, Caroline, who's online, what, what have you got to say?

And again, like some American people who couldn't normally come. So it was, it was actually really cool to have them there. Like I said, it was the most cobbled together thing, but they were my people and they knew me and I could get away with that. Like, but I did notice. And, and suddenly I offered it out to the rest of people and sold a few more tickets.

And I was like, you know, that could be an interesting idea. So, so yeah, I think. But doing it properly is how I want to do it. That's the name of the game, which is why having you for the summit was so crucial because the summit was always going to be the best I could make it for its first go. So let's talk about my dreadful mistake, which I didn't make because I went with you in the end.

I asked I didn't, I knew I needed help, right? I knew I needed someone. So normally when I do my online event for SOAR, which is my, in my, in my membership event, normally when I do that, we have the amazing BizPaul who comes and helps me host it. And he does a few little bits in Zoom or whatever. And I was going to have him be the presenter for the day and he couldn't do it.

And I was like, Oh God, I, I, okay. I'm cool about presenting, but I can't do everything. So I actually, in my head went, I need a tech VA or a VA that can help me. And then luckily it was put in a group, not a group I'm in, but someone else's group. And someone, you know, saw it and sent you to me. And then, the thing that got me to buy into you straight off the bat was the fact that you knew the system.

There was a lot of confidence there. It was like, Oh, hang on. This is what she does day in day out. So just talk to, like, what's the difference? Why do people think VAs, or they think VAs can do everything, like these people are magical humans, but why do people think, Oh, I'll get in a VA to help an event and what's the difference to what you do?

Lorna: VAs are amazing. I'll start. I have VAs and I adore them. Some of them are also online producers. Some of them are very not. I attribute it to asking somebody who's in comms to be a social media manager. They're not the same thing at all just because you have some knowledge doesn't make you great in it.

It's almost like asking a handyman to fix your boiler. They might be able to do it maybe or cobble something together. I think the difference of having an events manager or a producer is that is exactly their job. Their job is to make all the magic happen in the background so you can Present and be as present as you possibly can, trying to switch off your brain to all of the background stuff is hard anyway, but if you're trying to present and be the compare or the emcee, as well as trying to press all the buttons and make sure your talks are starting on time or make sure the right slide deck is up or welcome the next speaker while the first speaker is speaking and you're planning your segue between two sessions.

The production manager or producer does all of that thing. It's their job to smooth the waters. To be that backstage person that keeps all the plates spinning, that captures you if something goes wrong, to even be confident enough to interrupt and say, Oh, Teresa, your Wi Fi has just dropped out there.

Can you say that again? Because there's no shame in saying something's gone awry. Can we just go again? Because people have missed it. But you need, you need to know about it. You need to know that something's gone wrong without your chat filling up with 5, 000 people saying it's, it's all gone. Yeah.

Gone a bit wobbly. Or you need someone just to catch the slides because the presenters Wi Fi isn't the bandwidth is not good enough, so they smooth the waters and make you look as good as possible. They are focused on attendee experience. Yes, I want to show you off to your best potential to shine that spotlight on you and say, look, Teresa is awesome.

Look what she can do. Look what she's pulled together. She's magnificent. I also want to be there to answer all your attendees questions while they're coming in. How do I get to this? Why isn't my audio working? Because I want them to have an epic time. You can have the best content in the world. You could be giving away the cure for cancer.

But they're having a problem connecting to their audio. Yeah. They're not going to hear any of that. They're only going to be focused on their own experience. They're not going to get it. It's really about having someone on your team who's in your corner that wants to make you shine. And that's more than sending the attendee emails or setting up the tech for you.

It's more than pressing the go button on remembering to record it. It's a whole art form in itself.

Teresa: Yeah. And I a 100 percent get that and I pretty much got it from the minute we started working together that, oh hang on, the relief of having you who you knew what you were doing. I actually couldn't imagine if I had to learn, hop in and help someone else learn it.

That would have just been an absolute disaster. Now, obviously one thing we do need to talk about is when things go wrong and we had Some things go wrong, which is inevitable. And weirdly, the things that went wrong were not the things that we were thinking would go wrong. Like we, you know, and obviously Lorna's done this a long time.

So, you know, you're thinking a speaker doesn't turn up, someone's slides don't work, like the internet drops out. Like those were the things that we'd kind of thought about and talked about. What we didn't think about was what if people can't actually get into the event? And. you know, and my lovely listeners know I'm very honest and authentic and I will tell people straight.

And that was one of, and I will do a proper episode about my breakdown of running an event like this, but like, that was one of the things that went wrong was people couldn't get into the event and the relief of having you just go, let me deal with that was just brilliant. And I think that for me, is that I would have fell and sunk to the floor if you hadn't been there. I'm positive.

Lorna: And, and that is exactly it. We write contingency plans for every occasion. Even if we're doing an event on zoom, we'll have backup links on backup links on backup links. So if something goes down, we can be reconnected. It's our aim to stay online or be reconnected within 30 seconds. Which feels like an absolute eternity when you're live, but it's like, it's not that long.

Realistically, when you look back at the recordings, you go, Oh, it felt like minutes, but it was literally 30 seconds. People not being able to get in is a tough one. And yeah. All honesty, we manually added, first off, 200 people. I, we manually replied to 200 people with their access links, which took about an hour and a half.

You know, it took a good chunk of time and committed focus to do it, but that's, that's why you bring someone in to do that job. That's why you have that caveat set up, or you have someone that knows the system that can manually override it or manually force it. It's the same in a platform that. Black Zoom or Teams.

Everybody knows how to use it at kind of top level.

Teresa: As a presenter, getting in and out of a normal average thing.

Lorna: Yeah. But if something goes wrong, how do you get into the backend of Zoom and force things to happen? How do you get into the backend of a software and make things happen properly the way that they're supposed to, or find a workaround?

This is, and that's what we always try to do. and we call it the grenade theory, which is just throw your body on top of it, damage limitation, and then we'll figure out why it happened afterwards. So whoever is closest to it, lay on top of it, stop it hurting any more people, and then we'll fix it.

Teresa: Which is exactly what happened, you know, we You found a workaround very quickly, thank God.

We tried to limit as much damage as we could. It was nothing that either of us, and we are in conversations with Hoppen and have been about it was nothing that we could have done. And at the end of the day, like, We're humans and humans have problems and nothing ever quite goes to plan. There's always gonna be something and it's how you deal with it and the fact that we dealt with it as fast as we could and as responsive as we could.

I think that's another key thing of, you know, you were personally replying. So as people were rep reply, sending emails to me, I was throwing them forward. Then Johanne was throwing them forward and then I was even replying to some going, I'm so sorry. You were then replying to 'em going, here's your link.

Try this one. You know, in. And it was just, like I said, I can't actually imagine what we would have done if you hadn't been there to do that, because it would have just fallen on its ass, which isn't good.

Lorna: And not everybody needs the same level of support and help. And not everybody's running the same level of event either.

If, you know, if you came to me and said, I'm running a 50 person event and we've invested in this platform, we would probably do something completely different. Yeah. But it's about having the right level of support. And if you've got People on hand that you do have a phenomenal team that sits behind you.

And that's great because we can dovetail in with those and utilize that skin and experience. And you do have super speedy email skills, so we can feed into that and use that, skip that experience as well. If somebody doesn't have the team, we might have to support them in a slightly different way. Or if they have loads of experience and they just need platform help, we can offer a completely different service.

So we, yeah, we always try and write a prescription for what you actually need. And I think that goes back to what you thought you needed. And you probably didn't need to smooth the waters to catch you. And to be that catch net to be that extra hand is, is really, it's really important. And it's really personal to you and your brand because your brand is all about people connection.

It's not about automated systems. It's about me actually saying on behalf of Teresa, I'm really sorry. Yeah. Here's your link please come and join us. If you need anything, please come back to me. And that, that's user experience. You're, you're adding to that somebody's being seen, heard, and helped, which is critical for you.

Teresa: And it's like when you're on TripAdvisor and someone writes a terrible review about a restaurant or a hotel, I look at their response. Because you're not going to please everybody all the time. And some people are going to be really peed off with something that someone else is delighted with. But for me, it's about, okay, how do you respond when something goes wrong or bad, or, and again, like I said, I, you know, at the moment we're still speaking to Hopin and I'm still waiting on a few things, but up until this point, their response has been good and I'm, I'm, you know, fairly happy and I might talk about that in the future, but, you know, It's about that kind of, because you're not always going to be able to stop anything from going wrong.

So, if someone is thinking about doing an event, what, I was going to ask you like, what's the don'ts? Because people love that, like they love the disasters, that's what they want to hear. So what, what should they avoid?

Lorna: Don't try and do it on your own. Like, we as business owners are used to wearing 4, 000 hats, but I'd say when it comes to events, even if it's a face to face event, you need someone to help you on the day.

You physically can't do it all. You can't connect the projector, check the teas and coffees, and deal with the person that's vomiting in the corner all at the same time. And you shouldn't have to. Yes, we have dealt with people collapsing and the projector falling off the wall at the same time.

Teresa: Wow. Who do I pick up first to projector the person?

Lorna: So I think even, even if it's somebody on, cause you have no budget, if it's somebody on your own team that you can delegate to do that thing, this is your job. This is what I need for you to do. Have, divide and conquer. That's how you're gonna, to make a success of it. Even brought some of your speakers into helping you.

Yeah. Don't assume that because you've sent people an email confirming their time and when you need their slides or videos by that they will actually read it. I don't think you can, you can't over communicate when it comes to events, whether that's to attendees or to speakers.

Teresa: I think that's what I've learned. Yeah.

Lorna: At least three emails, at least three emails and interim conversations.

Teresa: Because we think, and this is standard in marketing in general, we're bothering people. Yet, after the event, and you and I have already had a debrief, but after the event, I got emails like, you didn't email enough. Yeah, I felt I was worried I didn't want to email anymore because I did like three emails a day on the actual day of the two days of the event.

Some speakers didn't quite get the brief, but lots of them did. But obviously I didn't, you know, and instead of being like, well, they're an idiot because they're absolutely not. It was okay. Well, how could I have communicated that better? Where did they miss that? And why wasn't I clear enough? So again, and the whole The speaker thing's interesting, and this is the first time I've ever done anything with speakers to this level.

Like I said, we have our SOAR event, which I pick three people who are awesome and send them invites, and it's as laid back as that, as you would imagine. But we had 38 people. There was no laid back. And it's many moving parts. You know, so again, that over communicating and you know what I'm noticing now, I have been a summit speaker many, many, many, many times and my attitude now is so different.

So first off, the promotion effort I put in is higher than it was because now I've realized I needed that promotion effort. Secondly, when they, and I've always been pretty good with deadlines. I love a deadline. So if you give me a deadline, I'm pretty good at hitting it. You know, I'll, I might do it the day before.

I might even do it on the day, but you'll get it when you say. So I've just doubly made sure that I've done that for these things. I've made sure I filled in the form properly. I've made sure I've kept a copy of the form when they've sent an email. I've made sure I've gone to the Asana form and gone, this is the date you need to do the promo because I wasn't doing that.

And, And I've realized that I've got to take ownership of that because we're not being communicated enough. And, and I should have communicated more. So, yeah, absolutely that communication piece and the reminder piece and the, even though it feels uncomfortable, maybe is actually so key with, I guess, with the attendees as well.

Lorna: And people, people are busy and I feel more so now than ever before. People are just working in such a moment to moment fashion or their whole week is booked out. They read their email four weeks ago and it's not still in their head. They're not still thinking about you. You know, you're not that important to them.

You're not, you're not a critical part of their week.

Teresa: Which is unfortunate. We like to think we're that important.

Lorna: Which is a shame, yeah.

Teresa: But we're really not.

Lorna: I think there's nothing wrong with saying, hey, just a gentle nudge, your slides are due this afternoon. Because nine times out of ten people will go, ugh, I Crap. Yeah. Here you go.

This is what I sent, which unfortunately is something you have to do. You have to over communicate and communicating in different ways. Not everybody communicates in the same way that we do. For example, I hate emails with a passion and that's a layover from burnout in the corporate world, like four or five, 600 emails a day.

Which I never was going to get to read, but that is still in my head. So actually when I start to get email, email, email, email, all from the same person, all within an hour of each other, it makes me go like this. And I have to say, send me one email with everything in it and all the deadlines, because that's how I work.

And it's spinning your communication. The same message, but in a couple of different ways to your speakers, to your attendees, so that it lands with them slightly differently. Yeah. And I'm also looking at the wonderful world of text message through WhatsApp media. Mm-Hmm. Because we're finding now that people are being much more instant and actually automating a text or WhatsApp is getting, saying way more, way more interaction.

Saying, Hey speaker, looking forward to seeing you. Here's your form. Don't forget your deadline. They're going even on the train, whether they're at another event, whether they're, you know, it doesn't matter. At the dentist, they're getting that message.

Teresa: It's so funny the way you have the reaction to the email, I have the reaction to the other stuff.

I mean, if you listen to that, you didn't see Lorna's face. It was like a, like a, she'd bitten into a lemon or something. I have that reaction to the DMs because, I can't because I am so efficient with my emails. As you know, I love an inbox zero. If it doesn't come into my email, I lose it and it gets disappeared.

And someone messaged me the other day who I'm speaking for. saying, I just need to ping you this email. So is it better on WhatsApp? Can I have the, and I was like, no, do not WhatsApp me. Like, and that, and again, it's almost like it feels too, not personal, but, but for me, that wouldn't work. But again, one of the things that I think we've learned this time is, giving options or I've learned this time.

It's like, so someone, like I said, wanted to know when almost every speaker was on. And I was like, there was fricking loads of them. I'd be emailing you every 30 minutes. But one thing we thought was okay, we could give them the option to add the specific speakers that they want to their calendar, or we could give them the option to do it this way.

Or I can do a chatbot reminder next time. Like, I think those options are really, really good. And I think definitely that is something that I will be thinking about for the future in terms of, and like you said, there are some people that would be so nervous to come to an in person event with me. And I know that because I do have such a strong community, it can seem quite intimidating when people seem to know each other and you're like the new one in the world.

So therefore they might do something online before they come and see in person. And then they realize I have the nicest people in the world and they will be fine. But yeah. Okay. So what's. If you were going to put on an event tomorrow, what one thing would you absolutely make sure you're going to do?

Lorna: Start with vision. What do you want your attendees to walk away with, thinking or feeling? Because if you don't know that, your event Has multi directions, no single focus and becomes ineffective. It's the same as when you talk about marketing, who are you speaking to? What do you want your attendees to walk away thinking or feeling?

And when you know that everything else shapes around it, you know, we break down. And planning into six stages, there's stuff that happens very early on, there's stuff that you don't even need to put into your brain until much later in the thinking sequence, but it always starts with the vision. It always starts with, what do I want someone to get from this? because it's about them, it's not about you.

Teresa: And again, just thinking about, you know, I'm excited about next time, so obviously I will definitely have Lorna again next time, but I'm excited about us starting the conversation at the beginning, because we didn't start the conversation, but the point I brought you on.

I had already decided what it was going to be, how it was going to look, and actually one of the things, and I will happily admit this, is that I didn't give the premise of the event enough thought. I, and I'm glad that I did it the way I did it because I needed to do it to step out of my comfort zone and to get it done, and if I hadn't have done it the way I'd done it, I would still be planning it now and thinking about it now.

So actually, the speed in which I did it, the time frame that I was given, or I gave myself, the throw everything at it. worked great for me doing it for the first time. Next time I'm excited for you and I to sit down and go, okay, what do we want people to go away with thinking or feeling like, now is this going to work and make it a bit more specific, a bit more niche, a bit more tailored, and with a very clear outcome.

That is one thing that is keeps coming back to me in this world. Like the universe is trying to send me this message of watch clear outcome. And I need to get more clear on this myself. So yeah. I love that. And I'm excited for next time.

Lorna: Yeey. Next time. And if you're going to do events and you build events into your marketing strategy, or you're building events into your business model, it's always, you can always add polish.

You can always do something a little bit better, or you can always respond to a new trend. You can, it's always evolving. It's never a, Complete rinse and repeat, it can always be better. You learn something each time you do it as an attendee and as a speaker and as an organizer. And you have to be on that evolution path.

You have to be open to that from the get go.

Teresa: Yeah, a hundred percent. Lorna, thank you so much. Not only for helping me put on a kick ass event, which we did, we did brilliantly.

Lorna: It was really good fun.

Teresa: And I think we were a good team. And I think we managed to keep fairly cool headed throughout the drama of day one and, and fully, properly enjoy day two.

And it was brilliant. And I loved working with you and I'm so grateful that you're in my world because this is going to be the start of long and lovely stuff to do. So yes, Lorna, if people want to find out more about you. Where can they come and find you and give you some love, Oh, I've got one more thing to say before we finish.

I forgot to say, tell us about your TV appearance, Lorna, because I can't let you go without talking about that.

Lorna: Oh, yes. So BBC iPlayer, My Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen. You can find me on that. My first business when I left the corporate world was a wedding planner. And I was the first LGBTQ plus wedding planner in the country.

So we built a whole business and industry on that, which still sits alongside the events world. But as part of celebrating 10 years of legalized same sex marriage, so we can officially, we, I am part of the LGBTQ plus crew, we can now use the M word. Marriage. You haven't, we haven't always been able to use it.

So yeah, I was approached by the BEEB last year and we, we helped a couple have the most epic wedding. It taught me to learn some history and some learnings. And I think everybody learned something. Everybody got impacted in some way, shape or form. And we had a lot of fun doing it. And it was on the beep. So super exciting.

Teresa: So you're like really famous and everything that.

Lorna: Yeah. I'm 1 percent famous.

Teresa: Hey, I'll take it. I'll take it. Like, I watched it because obviously Lorna was going to be on it and Lorna worked with me, so I was excited about that. But the other reason I watch it is for Tom Allen, because I think he's hilarious and I think he's so funny.

So I watched it for those two reasons, but it was a great program. It was a very eye opening program, but done in a serious, hard subject, but not in a light way to make light of it, but actually to bring up the, it could have been a very heavy. Like, if they hadn't had the wedding planning and the fun things and the beautiful things alongside it, it could have been like, Ooh, you know, this is, it was, you know, it, what happened was wrong.

It was wrong that you, you know, that people in the LGBT plus community couldn't get married and that's what they needed to communicate, but they did it in a brilliant way. So if you are, I don't know if you can get iPlayer in the States. I don't think, no, you can, but I don't think you can get, you might not be able to get the same things, but if you're in the UK and if you're in the States and you can get iPlayer, then go and have a look.

But yeah, what was it called again, Lorna?

Lorna: My Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen, and I think it's on YouTube. Brilliant. If I can find the links, I will send them over to you. Give us the links and we will hook up to it in the show notes.

Teresa: But Lorna, yeah, so now, sorry, I forgot that I wanted to add that bit because that was really cool.

And by the way, the wedding was stunning and it was really, like, quirky and interesting and different. It was just awesome, so do go check it out. But yes, where can they come and find you and say hi?

Lorna: So we are on all the social medias as, @myohmyevents, and you can find me personally on LinkedIn and that's where I tend to drop all my kind of info and how tos and tutorials, and I will fire over, I've got a fail safe event planning course, free course.

I'll ping you over the link for that. People can find tips and these freebies on there and worksheets and loads of little help with this.

Teresa: Do you know the link for that off the top of your head? Only because, I will put it in the show notes, but if you know the link off the top of your head, we'll say the link off the top of your head, or quickly find it, which is Lorna has the same skill that I do, that when we talk, while we're on screen, we somehow manage to type and bring something else up on the screen.

So I was talking to someone earlier and they were like, Oh, I'll send you the link for that. I went, I've already got it. I'm on it. I'm looking at it. Like, so what's the link Lorna?

Lorna: It's myohmyevents.sanctuaryportal.com and you'll see there's two courses on there. One's the big freebie one's a paid course, but help yourself to the freebie.

I've just made it free this morning. So your people can access it.

Teresa: Love it. Love it. Love it. Do you go check that out? Honestly, I think an event of, you know, you might be sat there listening to this thinking, I'll never do an event, but why the hell not? Like, and And another way to connect with your audience, I just think has got to be, you've got to take it.

So yeah, awesome. We will link to that in the show notes. Do go check out Lorna on LinkedIn. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, Lorna, and for being amazing.

Lorna: You're very welcome. Pleasure as always.